I recently found this beautiful poem by Gary Snider about Mt. Ritter in the Sierra.. It brought back so many memories of a backpacking trip I did when I was 16 traversing the Sierra. We stared Mt. Ritter in the face for days eventually making our way to Yosemite Valley where we spent out last night on top of Half Dome. The experience forever impacted me. Someday I look forward to going back.
John Muir On Mt. Ritter: After scanning its face again and again, I began to scale it, picking my holds With intense caution. About half-way To the top, I was suddenly brought to A dead stop, with arms outspread Clinging close to the face of the rock Unable to move hand or foot Either up or down. My doom Appeared fixed. I MUST fall. There would be a moment of Bewilderment, and then, A lifeless rumble down the cliff To the glacier below. My mind seemed to fill with a Stifling smoke. This terrible eclipse Lasted only a moment, when life blazed Forth again with preternatural clearness. I seemed suddenly to become possessed Of a new sense. My trembling muscles Became firm again, every rift and flaw in The rock was seen as through a microscope, My limbs moved with a positiveness and precision With which I seemed to have Nothing at all to do. Gary Snyder